Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
What We Love
- All rooms have views of Sydney Harbor; Grand Harbor Rooms overlook both the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge
- The Chi spa, which uses local ingredients including bush honey, macadamia nuts, eucalyptus and lemon myrtle
- The rooms’ deep soaking tubs—just one of the Shangri-La brand’s signature amenities
- Cocktails at the trendy Blu Bar 36 on the top floor
What To Know
- Expect business travelers
- Free WiFi
- The airport is about six miles away; the hotel can arrange transfers for a fee
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
As far as real estate goes, it doesn’t get much more impressive than Sydney’s sky-high Shangri-La hotel, one of the city’s most unabashedly luxurious stays, smack in the heart of the historic Rocks district. The 36-floor tower soars over its neighbors and, consequently, delivers sweeping views of the city and harbor. Despite a whopping 563 rooms (all spacious and decorated in soothing neutrals), the hotel’s service is always attentive yet inconspicuous. The dining and entertainment here is of equal caliber: top-floor Blu Bar is known for its mixologist-made cocktails and staggering city views, best followed up by a multi-course dinner at next-door restaurant Altitude. Also not to be missed: a rejuvenating treatment at CHI spa.
In the Area
Stays at Shangri-La put you in arm’s reach of some of the city’s best sights: Circular Quay, home to the iconic Opera House, is just a few minutes’ walk away. For a real splurge (but an unforgettable experience), join a BridgeClimb tour, which lets you scale Sydney’s storied Harbour Bridge for a unique perspective of the city. From Circular Quay, you can take a breezy ferry ride just across the harbor to Taronga Zoo, whose many enclosures housing native Australian wildlife (koalas; kangaroos; emus) are set against the Sydney skyline. Ferries also depart Circular Quay for Manly, a charming beach town that rivals Bondi with a killer stretch of sand and its fair share of waterfront restaurants and ice cream shops. Before departing, hit up Hugos for some quality pizza and sunset cocktails, then continue the party back in town at Hacienda Sydney, which pairs Caribbean-inspired drinks (Mai Tais; banana pisco sours) with open-air views of the Quay.
How to Get There
Stayed in early August as a family of 4 adults and 2 children. The stay was a disappointment, given the reputation of the group as well as the high ratings (4.5 on TA) of the hotel.
First the positives. The location was good, and the views were excellent -- especially from the club lounge. The rooms were off good size, giving us ample space to fully open up all (4) of our suitcases. The staff we dealt with was generally (though not always, see below) friendly and helpful, and requests (opening the doors between 2 adjacent rooms) and problems (heater that refuses to heat) were dealt with immediately. These, however, were simply what should be expected of a top-tier 5-star hotel.
Now to the negatives. The shower was the worst I have ever had _IN_ANY_HOTEL_, with weak water pressure -- it wouldn't be an overstatement to say that water just drips from the showerhead -- and (5-second) delayed response from the separate hot/cold faucets, which means water temperature was always wrong. On the first morning, staff at the Café Mix tried to refuse us entry for complimentary breakfast because "you have already been to Horizon Club", when in fact my wife had only gone for coffee; even though the manager immediately rectified the problem and signed of on our entry, we had never encountered such a situation in any other hotel before (Don't comp us if you are going to be cheap about it grrr ...) Finally, despite the views, I was extremely unimpressed following my afternoon visit to the club lounge, as tables were not cleaned (after they were cleared of dishes, so clearly an extremely half-assed effort), with crumbs and leftover food on the tables, chairs and even the floor. The staff at the lounge -- with the exception of the manager -- was seemingly also just interested in "doing their jobs", which basically means any type of request from guests are a nuisance to them. Case in point, the response to my 4pm "good afternoon, check-out please" was a frown (honestly, I think the lady was like "argh, why do you people hate me!!!")
As a Golden Circle Jade member, I did not get any room upgrade, did get chocolates (but did not get any choices) as welcome amenity, did get complimentary breakfast, and did get a 4pm late check-out. Points from the stay posted several days after our stay, which was also slower than the other major hotel groups.
This was my first and will be my last stay at this hotel.
We were pleasantly greeted as we arrived on a late Saturday afternoon by the staff in the driveway, the porter assisted with our bags and we made our way in to the warmth of the lobby. There we were met with a line up of 7 other parties waiting to check in, their were only two staff members behind the desk and we waited over 20 minutes to be checked in.
Heading upstairs, we made our way to the room which was of decent quality, well maintained, clean and large - we had booked a Deluxe Sydney Harbour King room.
After a long drive from Brisbane my partner and I felt like a quiet night in however the room service menu didn't offer many options for vegetarian or nu allergy guests so we ordered Uber Eats.
We ventured out for the day to meet family arriving from USA and then returned later in the day. That afternoon we were stuck on our floor waiting as there seemed to be an issue with the elevator system not stopping on the way down, you literally had to catch the elevator to the top floor and come all the way down. We let the staff at the front know, yet they didn't seem too interested which for a top level hotel seemed surprising. Every little 1% counts when people are spending that kind of money on a room, food & bev.
The bar on the top level offers amazing views, although be prepared to spend some money (but the cocktails are devine)
All in all, the room was excellent - however some of the smaller things were amiss. Nothing ground breaking, but having travelled quite a lot, I can see how a lot of those little things could add up for someone and ruin the experience.
On a final note, outside of the gent we spoke to about the elevators who was nonchalant the rest of the staff were excellent and delivered great service.
PS. I know I already wrote 'on a final note' but then realise I forgot to mention the complimentary shoe shining service - give it a go, it is excellent ;)
We had an enjoyable stop over stay here before we went to the "piece de resistance" Melbourne cup, it was one of the best views, harbour bridge in one window and opera house in the other. Stayed 2 nights, a bit expensive and overrated but it was highly recommended by a friend. City is too overcrowded.